Buying Tesla CPO in late 2018

edited November -1 in General
I've been on the market to buy a CPO S or X. It's a super sketchy process I must say. Researching the experience of several prior CPO buyers, it's clear they've changed their protocol significantly entirely for the worse to the buyer. What was once as solid car buy of a certified vehicle from the producer, to which Tesla typically sweeped clean and repaired almost to 100% and you clearly paid richly for this, now they do almost nothing to them it's like pulling teeth to get a simple picture of these cars' condition yet the pricing remains very high relative to the quality of the vehicles being offered - they're basically charging new car costs adjusted slightly for time depreciation on vehicles that often have rim rash indicated, 6-12" inches of deep scratches, dents, dings, etc. You can pay $110K for a 2016 S P100D that has $10K in damages waiting for you and be none the wiser in this current "new" CPO system they've moved to now. And if you are lucky enough to reach a representative who will provide you with pictures of a vehicle you're interested in, the damage reports don't always show pictures of the damage itself, and they're often demonstrative of dealer costs for repairs that Manheim (the auto auction company) charges Tesla, not what you will have to pay as a private individual. You'll also have to arrange for pay for transportation of the vehicle on your own now, which is often on the other side of the country, and you'll either have to physically be there when the transporter arrives, meaning you have to travel to where the car is to take delivery, or you'll have to be lucky enough to know someone in the area who can take delivery of your vehicle for you (that you better trust 100%) and hope they can work with the transporter to get you your vehicle.

So here's the current CPO situation: you buy a super expensive car sight-unseen with damage that you often can't even see beforehand for near-new prices, and then you have to travel 5 states away to take physical delivery of this car so that you can then either pay a transporter to get the car back to your home state for you, or you get to drive it back yourself adding miles to the car and losing worktime in the process. And then you get to have it fixed completely when you get home which could cost you God knows what.

Tesla - fix this cluster. It's FUBAR.


  • edited October 2018
    What brand of gun was put to your head that forced you to buy a CPO sight unseen and 5 states away.....? Don't like the process, which you surely would have known about before buying the car, then don't buy the car.
  • edited October 2018
    I haven't bought a CPO yet. I'm talking about how it works right now, which is an asinine process for a $50B market cap company charging near-new pricing for used vehicles that are like pulling teeth to acquire. If Tesla wants to be competitive, they're going to have to fix this. New car sales alone will not carry the company forever, and the lease inventory coming back to them will need to be easier to buy, or people simply won't buy them.

    Thanks for the value-added comment.
  • edited October 2018
    One glaring error in your assumptions: Tesla no longer refers to these purchases as "CPO", but "Used".

    Having purchased a CPO Model S sight unseen, I was extremely pleased with the vehicle delivered to me. I am now seeing similar or identical vehicles listed in the "Used" section of Tesla's web site at $7,000 - 10,000 cheaper than what I paid for mine. I wouldn't hesitate for a minute to make the same purchase again with that kind of discount, and would use the initial cost savings as a buffer against any issues that I found upon taking delivery.
  • edited October 2018
    I have no doubt the old CPO system was a joy to partake in. Giving a hard look at Teslas for the past month, both new and "used/CPO" alike, it's not been an easy decision to make hence why I'm still in review. If you buy used, you deal with the problems mentioned unseen...on your own for wear and tear, lucky to get a simple vaccum service according to many of the newer experiences listed out there this month...Tesla will neither help with transport nor allow you to arrange for transport without first taking delivery of the vehicle yourself when it's often several states away, you pay them their money and you're on your own to get it and then fix it as needed, and it seems leasees of these cars enjoy going crazy in them before they turn them in.

    Advantages of buying used: it's less expensive, you avoid the inevitable hit in value as this automobile depreciates just like all the rest, albeit at a slightly slower rate, as a credit to the brand. You're afforded a 70 point inspection as promised, but by what I've seen across 3 vehicles that I've done diligence on so far, their services stop there.

    Disadvantages...this new system is a far cry from the prior CPO program by a wide margin in terms of buyer experience, which is my point here for anyone else beginning the process of trying to buy one of these cars used (or in inventory when such a car is not local to you). Used cars I've researched have scratches and rim wear that are going unrepaired and yet you're still paying a hefty price to get the car, so in one example here the 2016 P100D S is listed for $110K as of today at Tesla in Georgia and the only thing they've done is replace/repair the tire damages that were noted at receipt on their end. Rims that cost over $5K new are being left with rim rash and the bumper has a gash in it that you can only inspect if you either travel to it to look at yourself, or hope that it's cheap enough to fix after you drop $110K (plus your state taxes, and any attributable in GA where it is, plus transport fees, and plus travel costs) to buy it sight unseen and then go through the headache of getting it back to your home state. I'm talking about Georgia to Texas here in this case, and if you have a job, you either take vacation to get it yourself and drive it back yourself, or you arrange for transport which you'll have to direct personally in GA and then pay an additional $2K+ for transport fees that will take 3-5 days to get back to you in Texas. All this for a 2016 model that sells comparably loaded for just 20K more in brand new in 2018...that does not make sense. Not for any car, no matter how awesome it's just a car, and the reason buyers are now having to do this is because Tesla couldn't keep things in order with their old CPO program.

    So I have no doubt prior CPO buyers are pleased, I would be too. But to buy one of these used now is a total mess, and all I'm saying is they need to fix that if they want to be competitive.

    Model 3 production has likely derailed their ability to both keep up with order demand of new cars and then also manage the headache of older sold/leased cars coming back to them. This is a glaring mess and a buyer needs to beware.

    They're awesome be clear I'm actually considering jumping through these hoops to get one. But it does test the reason of a reasonable individual who simply wants a nice car that performs well...why pay Tesla almost full price for a used car that requires all of the above to get it into your garage? It would be one thing if they better adjusted their prices for damage and negotiated accordingly, but they don't. So buyers have to figure all this stuff out and assess what they're willing to do to get one IF they're not local, because no matter how awesome the car or company is, this process is definitely not by any stretch of the imagination. Tesla can and should do better.
  • edited October 2018
    in the 4th quarter/December of 2017 ,Tesla cleared out almost all their CPO inventory. Tesla I am sure will be going for a strong sales and cash flow 2018 close. I would keep an eye out early December 2018 if you are interested in a CPO.
  • edited November 2018
    Perfect example

    $63k car with 38k miles and look at the condition and one would not know 100% if there is anything else wrong with it. Now who is going to fix the gash in the back or the little fender bender paint job needed in the back? How much would it cost? How do I know if electrically its working well? For example: My cousin just bought the model X 2017 and his screen reboots like twice a week out of nowhere. How do we know if this car is not having any issues like that? Now I am strongly considering not going CPO.
  • edited November 2018
    I am going through the process right now and find it to be a complete and total customer service disaster.

    Inside sales person, super nice has high level understanding of the cars and assumes that everyone she talks to has no in-depth knowledge of the cars. Makes lot of promises talks super sweet and does little to follow-up.

    Delivery person from Ca was completely worthless.

    Talking to people at the delivery agent is a waste of time. They won't do anything to verify the car...even though inside sales promised that they would.

    Tesla has very much taken the stance that if you want one you will take it sight unseen, you will put up with all the nonsense, and thank them for the privilege of buying the car....and they can get away with it and we customers are putting up with it as it is the best car of its type available.

    I am seriously questioning why I am not just spending another 15-20k and buying a new lower optioned S and getting AP2 rather than buying a high option used S with AP1.

    ......I am betting that I am getting a good car that I will love so I am going forward with it.

    But just know that nowhere in this process will you talk to anyone who actually knows anything about the specific car you are buying, follow-up will suck, everyone will smile f*&k you to death and generally you will be treated as if you are completely incapable of understanding anything about the car when in reality if you are an educated shopper using this forum you probably know more than everyone you will talk to.

    Make sure you ask the inside sales person for the cars condition rating and if there are additional pictures that aren't in the dropbox. The condition score isn't completely reliable as it was explained to me it doesn't truly reflect the magnitude of any specific damage but more a reflection of how many spots of damage there are on the car.

    There also appears to be a significant difference in the condition of the car based on region. I am in the northeast and NY cars seem to be thrashed as I am guessing they are coming from car services in NYC.

    I am also accepting that I may take a 3 hour trip to get the car and end up walking away moving my deposit to another car.

    And to an earlier responder.....just because nobody is putting a gun to your head to buy the car doesn't mean you can't complain about how horrible the process is in hopes that it will be made better. I fully expect to trade this one on a newer one within two yeas and sure would like to see a better process.

    And I do not remotely like the M3 so spending the 60k on a high optioned 3 is not of interest to me.
  • edited November 2018
    Well, I agree that the process sucks.

    And I think that in your case it probably makes more sense to just pay the extra $20k and get something brand new that is exactly what you want.

    In my case, the savings is about $30k or more. It's a higher dollar amount savings than what you're looking at and it's a higher percentage too. I am getting a lower end car - 2016 MS 70D for $50k plus taxes and fees (which are not trivial because it's in CA even though I don't live there).

    If you're going to do this, I highly suggest going in person yourself to fetch the car. Do not 'buy it sight unseen' and have it shipped to you. Figure out a way to go there and get it yourself. Wait for a long weekend or holiday and then just fly out to get it. That way, if there's anything seriously wrong you just don't accept delivery and don't close the deal.

    We are going to fly out to get our car. It's a hassle and I am not happy about many parts of this process (having to travel, CA sales tax, sales center knew nothing about the used cars, Tesla web page search is terrible, inconsistency about pictures, etc). But we put up with the process because...

    Tesla has no real competition.
  • edited November 2018
    I am definitely going in person and won't make the final payment until I get there.

    All the material I can get my hands on indicates I am getting a good car but the inability to follow-up on or answer simple questions including sending me incorrect paperwork is just poor poor customer service.

    Buying sight unseen is a risk I would definitely not take given the condition of some of the cars.
  • edited November 2018
    I am definitely going in person and won't make the final payment until I get there.

    All the material I can get my hands on indicates I am getting a good car but the inability to follow-up on or answer simple questions including sending me incorrect paperwork is just poor poor customer service.

    Buying sight unseen is a risk I would definitely not take given the condition of some of the cars.
  • edited November 2018
    BUYER BEWARE .... SERVICE IS ALMOST NON EXISTANT ...ESPECIALLY IN THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AREA .... they took my tire/rim for a nail I caught in it and its been 8 days and cant them to tell me whats up .... wont pick up the phone nor will they return any messages .... I may need to ask the local police department to assist me soon to get my tire/rim back. I will keep you all posted for your own edification
    Sad day for Tesla
  • edited November 2018
    @DavidDJ: "I may need to ask the local police department to assist me soon to get my tire/rim back"
    Hyperbole much?

    This is either made up, or insane. Flagged and blocked.
  • edited November 2018
    The DJ only has one tune.
  • edited November 2018
    I am considering a CPO. Baltimore is only about an hour from me. Is it not possible to see the vehicles BEFORE you make the $2,500 order payment?
  • edited November 2018
    , auquel Tesla a généralement donné le feu vert et réparé presque à 100% et que vous avez clairement payé pour cela, maintenant, ils ne leur font presque rien, c’est comme s’arracher les dents pour obtenir un Cependant, les prix restent très élevés par rapport à la qualité des véhicules proposés - ils facturent essentiellement des coûts de voiture neuve ajustés légèrement en fonction de l'amortissement du temps sur les véhicules qui présentent souvent une éruption cutanée sur la jante, soit 6-12 "de pouce égratignures profondes, bosses, bosses, etc. Vous pouvez payer 110 000 USD pour un S P100D 2016 qui a 10 000 USD de dommages et intérêts et ne soyez pas plus sage dans l'actuel "nouveau" système CPO vers lequel ils sont passés. Et si vous avez la chance
  • edited November 2018
    Bien que vous avez raison par rapport aux ventes des voitures Tesla CPO, c'est clair que les liens au dessous de votre message ont un seul but ...commercial, je vais signaler aux autres lecteurs...

  • edited December 2018
    @rv it's not possible to see the vehicles BEFORE you make the $2,500 order payment. other than dropbox photos. I wanted to test drive here but... Unless others have been able to change that?

    Not sure if they do CPO "returns" like they do with new cars
  • edited December 2018
    A co-worker of mine recently purchased a used model S from Tesla after almost two months of searching available cars on the Tesla web site until he found one four states away that had the features he wanted, was seen from the photos to have negligible body or paint damage, at a price that was acceptable to him.

    He flew to the Sales-Service Center where the car was located after work on Friday, took delivery on Saturday, and drove it home over the weekend learning to use superchargers along the way.

    He's more than satisfied with his purchase.

    One has to put forth the effort to do their homework, but if one puts forth the effort to do the homework well a satisfactory result will be the return on the investment.
  • edited December 2018
    I'd like to echo the frustrations of the people posting here. I think the original poster lifeinthefastlane described the process correctly. Right now I'm considering putting down a non-refundable deposit of $2,500 and then fly from Miami, FL to Seattle, WA to take possession of a car sight unseen, with visible scratches and dents and rashes (on very expensive rims), then pay a shipping company >$2,000 to ship it back across the continent. It'll probably cost in total $110k for a, now 3 year old, blemished car. I believe in Tesla's mission, I love what I have seen of the cars, I want to be part of the Tesla community and help to preserve the environment, but the simple fact is I can go to any of my local Porsche, Audi, Mercedes, BMW, Maserati dealers and see, touch, drive any number of pristine condition cars. Last week I test drove a Hybrid Porsche that was like new, fully loaded, for half the price of the Tesla I'm looking at, with half the miles and more features and a brand new CPO warranty. I already know the Tesla I'm considering has several blemishes, and they have refused to show me any more pics of many cars, and the pics I have been shown in many cases are of such low quality and resolution when I showed them to a body shop they said there was no way to quote me the cost of repair (in many cases 300x400 can't even buy a phone that takes such low rez pics!). Take a look at an example previously posted to this thread here:

    Pics like this are so small, the could only have been purposefully cropped and resized. No camera takes pics this small. As much as I want to believe in Tesla, this seems very suspicious. Wouldn't you want to give the potential customer as much detail as possible. Take a look at carvana with 360 zoomable views of the cars inside and out. Compounded with the fact that I've been told I will not be allowed to visit any of their holding centers to look at any cars, or do anything like a test drive before I take delivery (I'd be willing to drive to a few and spend a day or two of my time...even taking off of work to do it if necessary). Not even after I pay a $2,500 deposit. I've been told I must purchase the car unseen and un-inspected. I asked if I could have a copy of the service record and was told they won't do it. I said, "surely Tesla has a record that they can pull up on the car's service" and the agent said "Yes, we Tesla employees can", they simply won't, and again, I want to believe in Tesla, but this just seems unethical and suspicious. They have the information, the have, or once had, high-resolution pics (before they were resized/edited), the cars are being held somewhere they could be shown to potential customers...they simply don't want us to know about what we are paying for until it's practically too late and/or we've spent a lot of time and money already.

    I see some Tesla loyalists with responses like "if you don't like it, don't buy it" but that's completely not constructive or helpful. I see some others saying how great their experience was, or their buddy's experience was, and good for them, but I see a lot more people who post about truly unacceptable behavior by Tesla and Tesla Service (not fixing the simplest of issues, dirty cars upon delivery, missing charging cables/adapters, etc. etc.)

    I'm an honest, well intentioned person who works really hard for a living, and committing to a loan of >$100k for the next 6 years is a real stretch for me, but I want to do it because I believe in Tesla and like the cars. It kills me that my local ICE/Hybrid luxury car dealers treat me far better than Tesla is. Surely, Tesla can't hope to succeed with a used car business like this, and new sales cannot keep this company alive alone forever.

    People I talk to about this think I'm crazy to consider such an expense...colleagues, mentors, and people with far more experience and financial savvy say this would be a mistake, and that I could get really screwed. Yet here I am, still researching, browsing, looking at tiny low-rez pics, and reading (now writing) posts like this. I really hope Tesla improves this situation. I fear I will end up buying something else before that happens, and that's sad, for all the reasons I've listed (believing in the vision, the cars, etc.). I'm still here...but it is pretty depressing right now.
  • mlvmlv
    edited December 2018
    I can chime in as I just took possession of a 2015 S 85D. I worked with someone in Fremont during the search process. Very helpful individual the whole way through. Once I found the one that fit my budget and fulfilled my options search criteria, he walked me through the whole process. I received a ton of high resolution photos via Dropbox and looked through the condition sheet and walked me through each and every blemish which oddly was less in person than it seemed in photos. The car was beautifully brought into shape. Yes, there are a couple of dings (small but noticeable), but it has 45K miles - I expect it. I will most likely attract many more living in the land of the careless driver here in Los Angeles. I searched for local cars (which in So Cal are San Diego, LA, and San Francisco). LA's inventory was non-existent but San Diego had options. Everything from the purchase to the pickup was as easy as could be. I made it a family trip, took an Amtrak down there and picked up my car. The lousy side was the fabulous traffic I hit getting home - 4+ hours on the road but we were in a great car. I like the 4 year, 50K mile warranty. It makes me feel comfortable financing for 48 months.

    I've owned BMW's, Chevy Volt's, Honda's, and Range Rover's. Used cars on the whole all come with their problems and dealing with a dealership is generally one of the most humiliating experiences one can go through. I just went through it again getting my wife's Chevy Bolt. (Great car BTW).

    Do your research, see the car before you make your final payment. I'm hoping I won't be disappointed with my purchase. I've wanted a Model S since 2012 and I'm looking forward to driving again. I hope it won't let me down, but I know all good things come at a price.

    Sometimes the search and the anticipation of the car is the best part. Enjoy the process and I hope you find the car you're looking for!
  • edited December 2018
    I took posession of my 16 Model S 90D over a month ago.

    The good, I love the car.

    The bad, pretty much everything else.

    The car had a big scratch on the rear quarter that wasn't shown in any of the pictures or notes my sales advisor had access to beyond the pictures.

    I showed up in Baltimore....2 hour train ride and two 30 minute uber rides 30 minutes early for my 130 appt. I finally left the dealer close to 5.

    My on site rep tried to pressure me to sign the paper and hand over my money, I paid cash, before I could even see the car. I said no and she got mad.

    She then LIED and said the car was being washed. Turns out it was out in the middle of the lot and hadn't been charged enough to even get me out of Baltimore.

    I happen to run into another person on the lot when I was looking the car over....found it on my own.....who was very nice and took over making sure the car was cleaned well and charged. I then was given a different sales person.

    When was time to actually sign the paperwork, she handled two people at once sitting on a couch in the waiting room. No privacy, no professionalism. She was super nice and knew what she was doing but it was a horribly unprofessional process for a ~60k used car.

    I was promised I would receive an email with all my paperwork, "probably before you even got out of the parking lot". I still don't have it.

    I still don't have my title or plates.

    Most people I talked to through the process knew less about the car than I did.

    No-one will look at the car in advance for you, no-one will answer any meaningful questions about the specific car you are buying, no-one will keep any sort of commitment about the buying process because you never actually talk to anyone who is in a position to do so and the people you are talking to probably won't really know much about the car.

    The process of buying a CPO is an embarrassment for Tesla and really a joke. If the car wasn't so great, no-one would go through this. If another company does come out with a truly competitive car before they fix their sales process they are in trouble.
  • edited December 2018
    Damn, What happened to the CPO program? I want to write a blog post about this on my platform. I launched a peer to peer platform where private Tesla sellers are connected to Tesla buyers. I don't mean to "push" my platform here but it seems there is a need for an alternative. May i ask you guys to contact me about your experience with the current CPO program? I launched it a year ago and maybe some of you have heard of it. Only Used Tesla. You can just google it and contact me from there. Maybe the feedback will be useful to Tesla and they may consider to improve the quality and customer experience. Do you think this comment is appropriate? ( I don't want it to seem like I'm pushing my start up here)
  • edited January 2019
    I will be returning my lease and for the same buyout I price I can get a better car, less mileage. But I am weary of Tesla CPO experience. This forum and TMC I have read so many issues with what should be a simple process. Tesla's arrogance has caught up to them and I sure hope they take these complaints seriously.
  • edited February 2019
    I started the process thursday January 31st I went in blind but knew what I waned I hit buy gave my credit card and waited for something to happen. A few hours later I received an email to complete some online forms finished it set up financing and thought now what. A few hours later I received a welcome call and I asked about the process and was told I would receive a call soon about delivery. Friday after not getting the call I emailed the guy to get an idea what was going on I was told I would receive a call soon. Waited all weekend and I decided to call Tesla and the guy couldn’t help but promised he would get a hold of the right person. Monday night at 10:00 I received good news the car will be delivered to west palm beach not far from where I live soon. Tuesday I received a follow up email my delivery location was changed to Orlando a 3 hour drive from home even though I have 2 service stations a half hour away. I emailed back saying clearly this was a mistake and I prefer a closer location they replied of course no problem you just need to pay $2000 to have it shipped the 200 miles! What a crock I can get a flight for $50 one way or do the 6 hour round trip but no way was I going to give them another $2000 to stick it to me. The previous posts are correct they got us they know it and don’t care. I now get to go 3 hours away and see a car hopefully in good shape.

    I decided on a 2015 s85 it fit my budget and had all the toys I wanted price is $45,000
  • edited March 2019
    I put a Deposit down on a CPO model s from San Diego. I was told that the car was in transit to Phoenix. I had all the paperwork financing in place So I sold my existing car. I get a call 3 days later saying they can't sell me the car and it was not shipped. The only thing they could tell me was the car wasn't supposed to be on the website. I asked why the car was not supposed to be on the website and the representative just repeated the same thing. Now they can't find a car in my price range and now I don't have a car. Not great buying experience at all. Tesla was very vague on their answers to my questions.
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